Secret Government Man Caves Ruin “Fun At Work” For Everyone

All work and no play makes Stephen a dull boy.

That’s why here at the GovLoop office I try to work hard, while still enjoying a game or two of ping pong a day with a co-worker (all with the blessing of my boss Mr. GovLoop).

I actually feel like the 15 minutes I spend completely dominating the office in ping pong, makes me more productive and happier at work. So count me in as one of those people who thinks the office should be a fun place.

But where do we draw the line?

Well the answer is… probably somewhere before something like this: Secret Man Caves Found In Government Warehouse – basic gist is government contractors were caught spending all their time hanging out in an office space that might remind you of something Tim Allen would have built on Tool Time back in the 90s.

What bothers me most about the fact that these man caves were found by the EPA inspector general is that they were obviously hidden. Having fun at work and unwinding a little is one thing but wasting time and trying to hide it and pass it off as work is another (much more egregious) thing.

Trust is the most important thing in the workplace and these contractors violated it. Not only that a story like this gives a larger group of fun loving, hard working civil servants a bad rap. Maybe most importantly government needs more of a “google culture” and crap like this completely ruins it and makes it impossible to implement.

What are your thoughts on the office man cave debacle and fun in the workplace in general? Where does the line gets drawn and how do we make sure no one crosses it?

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Henry Brown

It’s my opinion that Google believes if you provide the employees a place to relax, exercise, eat, or ??? they will have better motivated employees…

The last I heard most employers(including government employees) will have “parties” to celebrate whatever achievement…

Couple years ago there was a big push on in the federal work place to provide on-campus exercise facilities….

Have seen numerous office set ups where the break room was used for Video feeds and or group television watching….

Most every place I have worked had a break room which would include most of the stuff in the EPA break rooms including most of the “personal stuff“…

I can’t tell from the one picture provided by WND if This was one of the break rooms or just an attempt to get additional press….

Don’t know from reading the article(s) how many break rooms there were for how many employees. other than multiple …

Would offer with the information provided in the article, the primary thing that EPA apparently did wrong was not be aware of the break room. And if this IG report had came out 3 or 4 years ago would probably not gotten even a passing mention in the press.

Julie Chase

Here how we do it. We get 2-15 min breaks. One in the morning around 9 and the other at 2 pm. We have a half hour lunch. Yes, 1/2 hour. No time for ping-pong or a game of mah-jong. Our supervisor decided that since the WG (wage grades) breaks were written as part of the bargaining agreement, the GS (who do not get any breaks) would also get the same breaks at the same time. We do not have a “break room” in our bldg. The microwave is in the main office and there is a small fridge. The guys in the shop have a microwave and a larger fridge set up in the back corner. There is also a TV there as well. However, we don’t have cable, so the only thing on at lunch is the last half of The View. And I don’t know any blue-collar guy who is going to watch that. The TV is only on in the morning “before” work. When the big whistle blows from our tenant commands bldg. We get up and go to work. Our other bldg. does have a break room with a tv, microwave and fridge. We use that room for meetings (it’s difficult to have meetings when organization is support based). On the Friday before most holidays (the military is on a 96, so our work load decreases), we have a cook out or pot luck. We get along well, as there are only 3 women in the organization and we are not in the same area all day. We don’t wear heels and pencil skirts and the guys don’t wear polo’s and khaki’s. Some of us socialize together on the weekends or dinner. But we don’t have drinks at a local cs watering hole and the boss never attends any of our after hour get togethers. He would like to I’m sure, but he knows he can’t. We are doing ok with furloughs for right now. Everyone knows what Friday-Monday days they have every other weekend. We even had a furlough letter potluck the Friday before Memorial Day complete with a “Happy Furlough Day” cake. Exercise…interesting. That was stopped just about as quick as it started. Our Safety Dept thought it would be a good idea for us (cs) to use the gym on base during our lunch hour (back in the day when we had an hour). If we signed on to the fitness program we would get a 45 minute lunch (checked into the gym, to make sure you weren’t goofin off). Time to exercise, time to eat and get back to work. That lasted exactly 5 days, when the head honcho put an end to it, due to liability issues. If someone pulled a hamstring, or fell off the treadmill…oh well and that was the end of that. Games on the computer at lunch. Nope. Not on Uncle Sams computer. No downloading and the games were swiped off Windows 7 before we got it. Music on your computer. No again. No downloading Spotify, Pandora…whatever. That is what work is like “outside the beltway”. Our morale is good, because we have each others backs.